10 Sep 2008

Trade talks with Malaysia to resume

9:43 pm on 10 September 2008

New Zealand is to restart free trade talks with Malaysia, more than two years after negotiations were suspended.

A "refreshed mandate" has been issued and negotiations with Malaysia will start again, Prime Minister Helen Clark said.

The talks opened in 2005 but were put on hold in April 2006, while Malaysia worked on its free trade agreement with the United States and New Zealand focused on its trade agreement with China.

Malaysia was listed in 2005 as New Zealand's largest trading partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and the eighth-largest trading partner globally.

Miss Clark says the China deal is much more comprehensive than the one with ASEAN and it is expected that any deal with Malaysia would also be more comprehensive.